What should I do?
He wasn’t sure what his next step should be. He didn’t like conflict, but he knew he had to face it. He had lived in this neighborhood for years and felt at peace. But now he came to put an end to his rest.
He had been thinking about it for a while. He knew that his decision could have consequences not only for him but also for his neighborhood. What he had decided would make all of the neighbors raise their eyebrows.
Disturb the peace
Oliver Lynch lived in Osceola County, Florida for more than 25 years and had never been in an argument. He lived a quiet life with no discomfort and never saw himself in the situation he was in now.
Osceola County is not a big city with tourists and heavy traffic. It was mostly a place for people who had given up their jobs and retired, just like Oliver, who was 79 years old. But even in the quietest city there will be a glitch at some point.
Oliver owned a cabin in the country and decided to spend some time up there to relax. After enjoying the great outdoors, he came home to something unexpected.
He felt a few years younger. He had taken the time to really undress and forget about the worries he had at home. But when he got to his driveway, he saw something he hadn’t seen before. His heart sank in his chest.
Oliver’s driveway was a concrete path that gave him plenty of room to drive before he bent towards his house. But the once free path ahead now had an obstacle – cinder blocks.
He barely managed to get between the cinder blocks before he reached his house. Now that he was inside, he would find out who had done this to his property. You would have to answer his questions.
Neighbor next door
Oliver was a man of action, so he wanted to fix this problem himself. He went outside and tried to remove the obstacle himself. After repeated attempts, he knew there was no point, the cinder blocks were going nowhere.
Had the block been cemented? Why would anyone have done this to him? Then a thought occurred to him that made him lump in his throat.
An open lot
There had always been a lot next to Oliver. It was empty for as long as he could remember, and some people even said it was haunted. Some people even said that someone was buried on the property.
Oliver wasn’t particularly interested in superstitious rumors and had assumed that someone had finally bought the ticket. Maybe he had laid the blocks to separate the properties? But why were they in the middle of his concrete path?
Contacting his neighbor
Oliver didn’t know who bought the property. He had no idea how to contact the owner. But then a revelation came to him.
The property was worked on and over time more construction workers came to build on the property. Heavier machines appeared and Oliver wondered who was the owner of the property. He had to contact her and find out.
I am looking for answers
Someone who works on the property needs to know who the owner is, right? He walked over the cinder blocks and onto the property. He hoped the men there could answer his questions.
After asking the man in charge about the owner, he finally had it – the owner’s phone number. But he did not know that this dispute would not be settled so easily.
WFTV 9 ABCOliver went back to his house and punched the number on his phone. Soon the phone rang and the longer it rang, the more uncomfortable he felt. He didn’t like confrontations and had lived his life avoiding them.
The neighbor finally answered and Oliver stammered out his complaint about the cinder blocks. But Oliver didn’t expect that he would be so unreasonable. The neighbor told him that the cinder blocks were on his property line and he would not move them. Oliver felt anger inside him that he hadn’t felt in a long time.
Lost for words
Oliver was surprised by the man’s rudeness. What should he say now? Oliver had built this driveway himself and lived there peacefully for a quarter of a century.
The man hung up and the problem was still in the air. Oliver knew he had to do something. He had to find a way to get evidence that it was his property. But he had to act quickly.
Oliver searched his files extensively to find the property records, which was no easy task considering he’d bought the house more than two decades ago! Hundreds of boxes later, he stumbled upon the one he was looking for.
But finally he found her. He finally had evidence. But was it too late?
As Oliver looked through the files, he enjoyed his victory: the records said he was entitled to two adjacent 12 foot driveways!
He then drove to the Osceola County offices to confirm the information and learned that the records were correct. But there was one more problem.
Jump through hoops
Osceola County told Oliver they couldn’t force his neighbors to remove the cinder blocks despite evidence he was entitled to that piece of land.
He would have to hire a surveyor to settle the dispute or bring his neighbors to justice. Oliver didn’t want either, so he tried talking to his neighbor again. But the man wouldn’t even pick up his phone. So Oliver decided to get his attention in ways he couldn’t avoid.
Go on TV
Oliver contacted his local TV station WFTV and told them about his ordeal. The broadcaster decided to broadcast a story about the dispute and went to their neighborhood to interview him.
As soon as the television crew got to Oliver’s house to tell a story about his neighbor from Hell, Oliver knew he was doing the right thing. He had to let his neighbor pay. After all, he was wrong. Correct?
His side of the story
“I have very little arguments left and I hate to see someone attack me,” he told the TV show. “What is he going to do with those extra feet of concrete?”
His plight had an effect at least in public. Once the story aired, all the locals were on Oliver’s side. But would that help his case?
The neighbor appears
About a week after the story aired on WFTV, Oliver was the talk of the town. Everyone had seen the story on TV, but they still hadn’t heard from their neighbor.
But one day Oliver’s neighbor came to him. Given his previous interactions with the man, Oliver did not have high hopes for this encounter.
I am ready
Oliver watched his neighbor go to his driveway to his front door. With every step his neighbor took, Oliver’s breath quickened.
He thought the neighbor had come to complain that Oliver was airing her dirty laundry on TV, or maybe even to threaten him. It didn’t matter, though, because Oliver was ready to fight back.
A civilized conversation
To Oliver’s surprise, the man just wanted to talk! He asked Oliver to show him the property records and explained that he never intended to cause such a scene. He wasn’t such a neighbor.
He really thought this piece of land was his. But that was not all.
What made him change his mind?
Although Oliver could have been malicious about everything his neighbor had done to him, he was glad to have this civilized conversation. After all, they were neighbors. And Oliver didn’t want bad blood.
He asked the man if he would remove the cinder blocks and he agreed. But why did he change his mind?
Did God intervene?
In one of Oliver’s previous interactions with his neighbor, he had learned that the man was a minister. But that was inconsistent with his behavior towards him and their argument, and Oliver said the same to WFTV.
“[A] God fearing man. But I don’t think that’s very Christian. “Perhaps after a long prayer the man saw the light and found that he was not being fair to his neighbor. Whatever the reason, Oliver was relieved. But not all neighborhood disputes end this civilly.
A ruthless neighbor
A Washington ward was in the arms after a neighbor built a house on their property and painted it pastel purple.
They even petitioned it, claiming the harsh paintwork would devalue their own homes. Even so, the neighbor ignored her. But the man, whose property was next to the house, decided to take revenge in an unusual way.
Attribution from space
The neighbor’s house wasn’t next to the purple house, but his field was. So he got into his lawnmower and decided to deliver a secret message to his neighbor. This was only visible when looking at the properties via satellite in Google Maps.
And while his revenge was more subtle than many others, perhaps this is the best way to resolve a conflict with a neighbor. Of course, you can always include the law.
Get help from the state
Disputes between neighbors are part of everyday life. After all, we don’t choose who we live next to and we are unlikely to get along with all of our neighbors.
Fortunately, most US states have laws on the books that cover the most common neighbor problems – from trees to fences to borders and more. If you’re curious, find out about your state’s statutes or court decisions online or at your local government office.